Is it cruel for one spouse to 'change the rules of the marriage


#1

I dont know if there is an answer to this but views would be appreciated
Lets say John and Jill get married, are very happy and go on to have some children. Further down the line, Jill becomes more involved in her faith and decides to tell John that the only relationship on offer from now on is a brother/sister one. Jill actually has very good reasons for her decision ( none of them to do with John directly).
Before John met Jill, his one other relationship involved the lady leaving him for someone else. I know that John has not had even a cuddle from his wife for 20years now. Although im not privvy to any private chat, i do know that he said ’ If thats how it has to be, then so be it. But im quite sure that he’s felt very lonely and even awkward at times.(Once asking his wife up for a dance on the spur of the moment, it seemed he had to second guess whether ’ this was allowed’
I feel really sorry for him and my question is 'Is this fair, or is it just a simple case of the fact that people change, things change and earthly 'needs shouldnt be so important anyway


#2

It is a sin to withhold marital relations from your spouse.

“Jill” cannot possibly use the Catholic faith as an excuse for refusing intimacy with her spouse. If using “faith” then she needs spiritual counseling.

When one marries one exchanges the right to marital intercourse.


#3

The only justified reason for a brother and sister relationship would be a previous marriage that is not annulled, or a MUTUAL agreement to life in Josephite marriage (i.e. no sex).

(Of course other reasons would include things like mistreatment of her by John, John’s affairs, STD’s, maybe if getting pregnant would threaten her well being etc. If John is a great husband without these things, then you have to realize that you’re essentially denying a good man something that is on par with food and water.)


#4

\Further down the line, Jill becomes more involved in her faith and decides to tell John that the only relationship on offer from now on is a brother/sister one. Jill actually has very good reasons for her decision ( none of them to do with John directly).\

**According to the Bible, for one couple to withhold sexual rights from the other, except by mutual consent for an agreed time, is UNCHASTITY!

What are these supposed good reasons that Jill has for her unilateral decision?**


#5

I don't know about church rules and all that, but jeez-that sounds kind of mean!

If this happend, Jill needs to get to a therapist. And take John with her.


#6

[quote="flyingfish, post:3, topic:186762"]
The only justified reason for a brother and sister relationship would be a previous marriage that is not annulled

[/quote]

.
This is exactly the reason. I gather that although she knew of the first marriage (in the church) she was young , and in her naivety thought that as his wife had mislead him and then left him, that this would be cause for an annulment.
So just to clarify. As her faith became much stronger, she is aware that he is, in fact, in the eyes of our church, an adulterer and recognises her role in this as sinful also.


#7

[quote="vstead, post:6, topic:186762"]
.
This is exactly the reason. I gather that although she knew of the first marriage (in the church) she was young , and in her naivety thought that as his wife had mislead him and then left him, that this would be cause for an annulment.
So just to clarify. As her faith became much stronger, she is aware that he is, in fact, in the eyes of our church, an adulterer and recognises her role in this as sinful also.

[/quote]

Did they apply for the annulment?


#8

Was an annulment pursued at all?


#9

[quote="vstead, post:6, topic:186762"]
This is exactly the reason. I gather that although she knew of the first marriage (in the church) she was young , and in her naivety thought that as his wife had mislead him and then left him, that this would be cause for an annulment. So just to clarify. As her faith became much stronger, she is aware that he is, in fact, in the eyes of our church, an adulterer and recognises her role in this as sinful also.

[/quote]

Well, that is quite a **significant **detail to leave out.

This is not a a situation in which a wife is withholding relations from her husband. They are not validly married and hence are not spouses at all. Therefore, yes, they must abstain until they are validly married.

The husband could have and should have pursued a decree of nullity long ago. If he does not do so, or if he does and his first marriage is found to be valid, then abstaining until the first wife dies (if she dies before him) will be necessary. After the decree of nullity or death of the first spouse, they could convalidate their marriage and then resume relations.


#10

This changes your whole question. (Unless what you are trying to say is that this man obtained a ruling of nullity and the wife now refuses to recognize it.)

But assuming this man did not have his marriage examined and he did not obtain a ruling of nullity from the marriage tribunal, then this couple was never actually married in the first place. So there would be no rules to break. The “marriage” itself was a breaking of the rules.


#11

3 times. The answer has remained the same. He married first wife in the church. She then left him and they had a civil divorce. The church says that his position should have been to wait until the day she returns to him and certainly not to ‘shack up’ with someone else. Which is exactly the words used by the bishop who spoke to him on the last try. Said Bishop refused to refer to his present wife as such and spoke of her as his ‘girlfriend’ ( This is understandable though. Our church does say that once married with true form then nothing can change that)


#12

The only way I can see them making it work is if they sincerely believe the question of annulment was decided wrong. It’s possible for tribunals to make mistakes, especially if they don’t know all the facts. Sometimes they must make decisions on the basis of available evidence, and the couple doesn’t have evidence in form of witnesses, documentation and so on the tribunal doesn’t have much to work with.


#13

How sad for them both. If I were Jill I would like to think I'd do the same.. I'm certain though that my "John" would not have gone 20 years without. What a mess. :(


#14

+What the individuals do believe . . . or do not believe . . . is entirely beside the point . . . the husband is Canonically under Church Law a married man . . . and the woman with whom he is now living . . . *though in the eyes of civil law is considered his wife and therein he has specific responsibilities toward this woman *. . . in the eyes of the church this woman is absolutely not his wife . . . and this sad and tragic second “marriage” is completely invalid in the eyes Christ’s Holy Roman Catholic Church . . .

*Prayer:gopray2:fully . . . may God help all to find His Holy pathway only in this situation . . . *

*In dedication to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart . . . *

[RIGHT]. . . all for ***Jesus+
:signofcross:***[/RIGHT]


#15

To smhw and 1ke. It was silly of me to omit the reason behind Jills decision.
And to flying fish, lovely of you to hold out some hope but me thinks now that the only way for them would be the death of the first spouse. Thats not a comfortable thing to say.
And to Yellowbird. Thinking sweetly on a human level. Thank-you. Your views are much appreciated.


#16

The people who decide whether to grant an annulment are also individuals acting on what they believe.

The people who chose not to grant the annulment also acted from their personal beliefs about the status of their marriage. They could have well been wrong, and I personally would put more weight on the views of those who lived the marriage than those who heard about it through limited third hand information.


#17

[quote="Jesus_123, post:14, topic:186762"]
+What the individuals do believe . . . or do not believe . . . is entirely beside the point . . . ]

[/quote]

You know-this is a really good point. Many times what we believe IS irrelevant. What we do is much more important.

You can believe that I deserve a severe beating, but please don't act it out! ;)


#18

[quote="vstead, post:1, topic:186762"]
I dont know if there is an answer to this but views would be appreciated...Before John met Jill, his one other relationship involved the lady leaving him for someone else....

[/quote]

Yes, it was entirely cruel of his wife--his* firs*t wife, the one he married in the Church--to 'change the rules of marriage" and leave him for someone else. :(

Jill is a woman who loves and cares enough for John, John's soul and her own soul to the point that she is willing to live "as brother and sister" with him until such time that he is able to marry her in the Church. She is not the one who is cruel. Nor is she the one who "changed the rules of the marriage." The people and culture that tolerate adultery, divorce&remarriage attempt to change the rules of marriage. John and Jill's loving sacrifice for the sake of honoring marriage vows made (and broken) many years ago might go a long way in healing our culture. I pray they remain strong. :gopray:


#19

no this is refusing the duty of marriage and is against Catholic teaching. Jill cannot make such a decision unilaterally, it must be mutual, and as St. Paul says, for a short period of time in order to devote time and energy to prayer, fasting or good works. why has it taken 20 years for Jack to ask this question and talk to his priest? he can’t have been that unhappy with the arrangment. btw Jill does not have any good reason to make this decision permanent, no matter what she thinks, unless she has discerned this with a priest or spiritual directly. DIY spirituality outside the classic disciplines and Catholic spiritual direction are very dangerous.


#20

[quote="vstead, post:15, topic:186762"]
To smhw and 1ke. It was silly of me to omit the reason behind Jills decision.
And to flying fish, lovely of you to hold out some hope but me thinks now that the only way for them would be the death of the first spouse. Thats not a comfortable thing to say.
And to Yellowbird. Thinking sweetly on a human level. Thank-you. Your views are much appreciated.

[/quote]

Yes, you are correct. No matter what the couple "thinks" about his first marriage, their marriage is not valid and continence must be maintained.

I admire them for doing the right thing. Yes, it may seem difficult, but our eternal souls are worth it.


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